Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trees in the pasture

Jerry and Alice have managed to kill off all the trash trees in their pasture by girding them. They literally stripped the bark off of all the mimosas inside their enclosed area. All of these died over the winter and Ken and Matthew cut them down last week.

Fortunately, they have left the large plum tree alone (other than to eat every leaf within four feet of the ground. They also, surprisingly, left the little plum tree alone and it's now loaded with plums.

The sheep have also discovered how yummy the fallen fruit is to eat and gobble up every single fallen fruit. So I go out in the evening and pick the just barely ripe ones BEFORE they fall. I made the mistake of hand feeding some bug chewed ones to the sheep yesterday and Jerry thought that meant that all the fruit in my hand was for him.

And he jumped up on me with his 75 pounds backing some sharp edged hooves trying to get to the little plumbs in my hands. He didn't cut me as I had recently trimmed said hooves, but he sure put a nasty bruise on my thigh. Bugger!

He sure didn't get any more fruit from me. I'll tie him up the next time I go fruit picking.

The new game, which is also a way of training him to respect me, is to run at them making crazy animal noises. They run! And wow, they are really fast! They race around the whole pasture and come right back for another play with the "monster". I can almost hear them giggling like little kids as they fly past on a round. We play until they are panting a little. Gives them some exercise and gives me a smile.

They still come at me like fuzzy vaccuum cleaners when I have animal cookies, or other treats and a quick snag of a front leg and I can do whatever I need to so with them. I'm very pleased with how tame they have become.

I've noticed that on Alice's front sides (where we did need to shear), her rise came later than the rest of her (which is why we needed to shear) and there are little clumps about an inch long that are sort of matted out on the ends. I'm pulling these off as I can. She doesn't seem to mind much so long I as I don't ask her to stand still very long. That way I will have a nice "clean" fleece from her next year without a bunch of garbage left overs from last year. She will have a very wavy fleece next year.

Jerry does not appear to have any rise at all other than on his belly and butt. I'm just pulling those off from time to time when a lock is really dragging.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

And here I've been missing out on another fun "Shetland" blog! Thanks for sharing how you came to Boulderneigh; I'm tickled if anything I had to share led you to your lovely pair! I scanned down aways and LOVE your drawing of Alice (the one of the man is very nice, too, no matter what he says). Years ago I loved to draw; I think my artistic flare was spent in "creating" Brian, and what little is left is satisfied by blogging (and photography, which I've always loved), knitting and spinning....